Article on the militia and communitarianism
Professors Glenn Reynolds and Brannon Denning have a William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal article on the subject, well worth reading.
The core theme is that the communitarians (who seek to revive the sense of community, as separate from government and from the isolated individual, a popularized version being Hillary Clinton's "It takes a village to raise a child") tend to be anti-gun because it's, well so nasty. But in fact, throughout most of American history, communitarianism centered around the compulsory militia. It wasn't people without callouses turning out to build Houses for Humanity, it was most of the adult male population turning out, with firearms, to organize, drill, and prepared for group defense if the worst should come to pass. (The professors have an interesting invented dialogue, which I'll put in extended comments). It's a good read, and I'd urge downloading it.
One can imagine the following exchange between a government representative and a member of one of today's neomilitias:
GOVERNMENT: You have no right to operate a private militia. The only militia recognized under the Second Amendment is a state-sponsored militia. Private groups have no standing.
MILITIAMAN: A state-sponsored militia, eh? Which one is that?
GOVERNMENT: The National Guard, of course.
MILITIAMAN: Don't be silly. The National Guard is not universal, and it isn't state-controlled. At best, it's a select militia of the sort that the Framers disliked.
GOVERNMENT: Oh, all right. The truth is, we allowed the real militia to die. It wasn't good for much. We couldn't even use it to invade Mexico or Canada. Furthermore, the professional military didn't like it.
MILITIAMAN: Fine. Because you admit you've defaulted on a constitutional obligation that is "necessary to the security of a free state," we've resorted to self-help. We'd rather see a universal militia of the sort the Framers envisioned, but only the government can create that. We've done the best we could in light of your default. And you should be estopped from complaining, until you have lived up to your constitutional obligation.
GOVERNMENT: But private militias are dangerous. They don't necessarily represent the whole community; only portions of the community join such groups. They are prone to being infiltrated by malcontents, and they scare people.
MILITIAMAN: All true. That's why we should have a universal militia. Too bad you guys have fallen down on the job.
Despite its half-whimsical treatment here, the argument is a serious one. If a well-regulated militia of the sort the Framers envisioned is as important as a Communitarian interpretation of the Second Amendment suggests, then there is a constitutional argument for self-help in the event of a government default. Such an argument would likely fail in court, but that does not necessarily diminish its political, or even its constitutional, force.
The easy solution is to take seriously the Second Amendment's first clause. Doing so, however, is likely to pose problems for the Communitarians' stated goal of domestic disarmament.